I congratulate Victorians residing (or formerly residing) in my patron seats of Ballarat, Bendigo, Corangamite, Corio and Gorton who have been recognised in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List.

The awards recognise and acknowledge the selfless and extraordinary contributions which Australian from all walks of life make in their local communities.

This year’s awards come after a particularly difficult year for Australia and for Victoria where the summer bushfires of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic hit especially hard. I am pleased that so many Victorians have been acknowledged in these trying circumstances.

Award recipients are as follows:

Ballarat electorate:

  • Amy Burow AM from Clunes for significant service to athletics, and through support for women and junior sports persons;
  • Michelle Payne OAM from Miners Rest for Services to the horse racing industry;
  • Lorraine Powell OAM from Buninyong  or service to the community of Ballarat;
  • Marie and John Rinaldi OAM from Warrenheip for service to people with a disability, and to the community of Ballarat;
  • Detective Kevin Carson APM from Rocklyn is awarded the Australia Police Medal;
  • Melissa Westin ACM from Dales Creek is awarded the Australian Corrections Medal; and
  • Kathleen Poulton ASM from Ballarat is awarded the Ambulance Service medal.

Bendigo electorate:

  • Susanne Clarke AM from Strathdale for service to community health in regional Victoria;
  • Catherine Harboe-Ree AM from Castlemaine for significant service to the library and information sciences;
  • Brian McMennemin OAM from Bendigo for service to music through brass bands;
  • Kathryn Mackenzie OAM from Bendigo for service to tourism in regional Victoria;
  • Danzal Baker OAM from Quarry Hill for service to the performing arts as a singer and musician;
  • Heather Barrett OAM from Castlemaine for service to sustainable urban design, and to environmental conservation; and
  • Margot Spalding OAM from Bendigo for services to the community of Bendigo.

 Corangamite electorate:

  •  Jennifer Walsh OAM from Ocean Grove for service to community health, particularly to palliative care;
  • Alistair Urquhart OAM from Barwon Heads for service to people with a disability through employment initiatives;
  • The late Gordon Dendle OAM from Leopold for service to the community of Leopold;
  • The late Andrew Gubbins OAM from Barwon Heads for service to the beef cattle industry;
  • The late Rex Brown OAM from Hampton and Wye River for service to tourism, and to the community of Wye River; and
  • Gregory Leece AFSM from Ocean Grove is awarded the Australia Fire Service Medal;

 Corio electorate:

  • David Morgan OAM from Newtown for service to the wool industry;
  • Warren Hewitt from OAM East Geelong for service to community health through welfare support groups;
  • Norman Houghton OAM from Geelong for service to community history; and
  • Lisa Kingman-McGlinchey OAM from Drumcondra for service to business and community engagement initiatives.

 Gorton electorate:

  • Enid Macarthur AM from Hillside for significant service to the community through the Australian Red Cross; and
  • Winitha Bonney OAM from Truganina for service to women, to dance, and to the community.

I acknowledge the service and commitment of these regional Victorians who made such a significant contribution to our State and to our nation.

I was honoured to support the Australian Honours nomination for the late Andrew Gubbins and the late Rex Brown, both of whom made such a wonderful contribution in their respective fields.  I know their families and friends are so proud of these posthumous awards.

26 January 2021